5 Questions with James Golding | Chef Director at The Pig hotel Group (& our new neighbour)

For those of you who don't yet know of our little spot on the Dorset coast, we thought it was about time we brought you up to speed...you see it's not just us who reckon we have something special here, we were stoked to be joined by the awesome Pig Hotel group last summer who opened their first seaside hangout, aptly named 'The Pig on the Beach' right next door to us in Studland.

After attending one of our foraged feasts at the end of last year & sharing our love of seaweed and all that the seashore larder provides, The Pigs main man James Golding (who just happens to know a thing or two about cooking, hence the title Chef Director at THE PIG Hotel Group) gave us a few words...take it away James

James 2014.jpg

F/A: James, for those who don’t know you, give em’ a little intro
J: My Name is James Golding I am the chef director for THE PIG hotel group. I’m a originally a Dorset boy but left the area at 16 to be an apprentice at THE SAVOY in London and have since worked at places like Le Caprice, J Sheekeys, Soho House New York and then returned back to the area to help set up THE PIG philosophy.

F/A: Now, you are Chef director of all of The Pig hotels, and we are fortunate to have one just recently land on Fore’s doorstep - The Pig on the beach. What do you think is great about this PIG location?
J: Everything! Sun, sea & sand as they say with a nice dose of fun and luxury rolled into one. We have always endeavoured to offer a home from home experience with a good amount of indulgence mixed in, where better to do that than on one of the most beautiful beaches in the British Isles.

F/A: We are fortunate enough to be in an area of beauty and bounty, can you describe how you utilise local produce and what you harvest from your kitchen garden for menu at The Pig on the beach?
J: The garden is one of the main focal points of our philosophy alongside our 25 mile menu & local produce commitment. The idea is the chef’s work closely with our kitchen gardeners and plan ahead but also changing the menu up to the minute allows us to be able to utilise everything when it’s at the peak of its quality. We are currently harvesting brassicas, chicory’s, micro leaves from our green house as well as growing edible flowers to use as interesting garnish.

F/A: Give us a couple of your favourite foraged foodie finds from our patch of coast.
J: Samphire (both rock and Marsh), sea beet is a favourite, sea purslane, lava weed and sea lettuce all feature heavily on our menu during the seasons.

F/A: We believe getting outside is good for your soul - with finding your food and cooking it alfresco an added bonus. What’s your top outdoor eating experience?                                       J: my best outdoor experience was when I was 22 I camped my way around France, Italy, Greece, Holland and Belgium for just under a year and every day visited the food market in every town or city I ended up in. in the evening I would cook up the produce on the camp fire for me and my friends and it became a bit of a competition to see who could produce the best meal. I think the winner has to be a fire roasted fillet of Jack fish we got in Sorrento served with a basil, caper, garlic, olive and lemon chopped salsa Verde, followed by wood roasted figs and mascarpone….

F/A: Finally, we’ve got a challenge for you… give us your top tips for impressing your mates if all you have is a campfire and some simple ingredients of your choice.
J: Good quality ingredients whatever it is with real provenance and story behind them, a tried and tested cooking method (fire roasted, Baked, plank cooked for example)and always serve the food with zesty, strong flavoured sauces or dressings as they always go well with grilled or fire roasted food!

Thanks to The Pig Hotel group & Angel PR for the images and James for your words of wisdom, we will be knocking on the back door of the kitchen with another bag of seaweed for you soon ;)